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Experts Judge Porirua City Council Website Best In NZ

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Experts Judge Porirua City Council Website Best In NZ

The quality of information and services offered on the Porirua City Council website has won the Council first place from all 85 Territorial Authorities in New Zealand.

PCC won the Supreme Award on Monday (3 May) at the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) Web Symposium in Wellington. Council Website Manager Dale Hartle, who accepted the award, says since ALGIM began the survey in 2008, the PCC website has gone from strength to strength.

"In 2008 we came 23rd and took on board the feedback that year to where we pulled ourselves up to third place last year. We were thrilled with that ranking and of course continued to fine tune the site. Even so I was flabbergasted when Porirua City Council was named the Supreme winner that words escaped me - and I'm a Distinguished Toastmaster. It's like winning the Oscars of the web world!"

Dale says in the last year, a number of "back end" functionality improvements to the website means it now complies with e-government and accessibility guidelines.

"The search system has also been upgraded and we moved the database to a new server which has improved the speed and performance of the website," Dale says.

"Other new features include videos about living and doing business in Porirua, the addition of online forms for job vacancies, making submissions and requests for services, the creation of electronic newsletters and new content and images on Porirua's heritage to name a few."

ALGIM commissioned independent web experts to do a technical and content survey of all local authority websites in the country.

This is to provide the Councils with feedback on the quality of their websites and ways in which they could improve them.

The following 5 major categories were assessed:

Basic council features covering ease of navigation within the site, keyword search facilities and overview of services offered

Planning related and other general council information consisting of Council meeting agendas and minutes, an events calendar for the city, and various council plans

Information on job vacancies, liquor licensing, noise control, local libraries, building consents, rubbish and recycling collection, property rates and property maps

Paying of rates online, posting consultation submissions, sending feedback and reporting problems and issues in a request for service system

The speed of the response to a straightforward email enquiry sent to enquiries@pcc.govt.nz

Porirua Mayor Jenny Brash says she's delighted that Porirua City Council's website is now recognised as No 1 amongst all Council's in New Zealand.

"It's fast becoming the first port of call for information about our city for residents and the wider community and world."

Council Chief Executive Roger Blakeley says Council's website is an important part of customer service delivery.

"It is the virtual customer service centre for our organisation and is increasingly becoming the way people prefer to find out information or conduct business. Since the major revamp of the site last year, visitor numbers have increased by nearly 50%.

"This award is an acknowledgement of Dale's commitment to developing the site and the efforts of Council's content editors and information and service providers. This is yet another example of how our Council is fast developing a national reputation for excellence and innovation."

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